The other day I was having an incredibly serious content-related discussion with my colleague Joseph Jones — which movie trilogy is the most solid, with no weak instalments?
It got suitably heated, of course. At one point Jonesy tsked at my apathy towards the Terminator series, growling, “What are you? Emotionally dead like Arnie until he learns to cry through the cathartic journey of blowing half of Los Angeles up?”
My top trilogy list, after much discussion, was:
1. The Bourne series
2. Silence of the Lambs + Hannibal + Red Dragon
3. Iron Man (number two is a bit weak but still not bad)
4. Austin Powers (number three is a bit weak but still shagadelic baby)
5. The Naked Gun series
Notice that #1 with a bullet is the Bourne series (I’m not counting the pointless mess that is The Bourne Legacy with Jeremy Renner). So as you can imagine, I fairly squealed with excitement to learn that a fourth Matt Damon/Jason Bourne film is being released this summer.
Then, alas, I watched the trailer. Here’s my blow-by-blow:
0:02: Damon shirtless boxing? Two seconds in and they’ve already ripped off Rambo III?
0:18 Flashbacks galore — does anyone else think it’s cheeky to fill a trailer for a new film with old material? Next there’ll be a close-up of Damon as he wails about “trying to remember the past”, just like in every previous Bourne film.
0:27 “I remember. I remember everything.”
0:45 “We’ve just been hacked,” mutters a random CIA suit. “Could be worse than Snowden.” Some rather clunky crowbarring of topical names in there, screenwriters. Also apparently the CIA name ultra-classified folders about secret black operations as… Black Ops. Which just seems like a mega-leak waiting to happen.
0:54 Spoiler alert — this episode’s ‘cranky old spy chief’ to be played by Tommy Lee Jones who, to be fair, has excellently craggy features. He’s got a face like an old shoe chewed by a bulldog.
1:09 Bourne evades baddies at a Greek protest by stealing a ragamuffin’s Molotov cocktail. Very cool.
1:19 Woohoo! This episode’s assassin-who-is-almost-as-badass-as-Bourne is played by leonine Frenchman Vincent Cassel, who rocked an awesome cameo as a super-thief in Oceans Twelve. Which Matt Damon was also in. Wheels within wheels.
1:25 Obligatory shot of Bourne doing surveillance. Or possibly pretending to wear Mr Monopoly’s monocle.
1:30 A van crossing the camera as Bourne crosses a street! Will he disappear when the van moves out of shot again?
1:42 Bourne falls off a building while merrily waving at the audience.
1:48 This episode’s household-object-turned deadly: a chair leg.
1:57 Bourne rams a SWAT van into a Las Vegas casino, possibly while experiencing severe Oceans Eleven flashbacks and wailing “Who am I-I-I-I?”.
2:04 Mayhem on the streets of Vegas! The series promises to once again own realistic, CGI-free, bone-crunching car chases. Good stuff.
2:10 My god Tommy Lee looks old. He looks like a half-melted Bic lighter with eyes. How old is he now, 79? 82?
2:16 Wait, why are we ending the trailer with the exact same punch-out sequence?
2:18 Good thing Bourne looks as confused as I do.
Trailer rating: 3/5. The latest instalment looks set to check off the same old boxes (amnesia, inner-city chases, parkour), exploring little new territory. Ah well: the first three films were so solid, who can complain? I’m officially excited.
That said, it would be nice if movie trailers started thinking outside the box, becoming less predictably formulaic (fight scenes + droning Hans Zimmer-like music = job done).
Over to you: What are the most innovative or worst trailers you’ve ever seen?
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